Thursday, June 19, 2008

and the auld triangle, went jingle jangle, along the banks of the royal canal

I just got back from what was almost definitely the best concert I've ever been to. It was brilliant beyond words, I don't know if I've ever seen such sheer emotion in a performance (plus Obama was there and the singer mentioned Freaks and Geeks, total geek-out moment for Pete). The show got me thinking about a few things.

This is the end of the "chapter" of life that has been the last four years. I will still be in school for a bit, but as far as people go, it's over, and even the school bit is over - it's just classes now, I don't know if I can consider it college anymore now that I'll be driving or training into the city for class and work, while living at home with the family. I've been thinking a lot about this. One day I'm bummed out about the shift in life and the fact that I'm losing nearly all the remainder of my friends. The next day I'm not too torn up, since I've been losing a steady stream of friends over the last year or two anyway, and this isn't much of a change from the usual flow of things. Some days, I don't know if I actually care at all.

See, I have this funny tendency to disappear. I have my three old school friends at home from grade school, and they're the only ones I kept in touch with. When I say that, I don't mean that I don't talk to the others much, I mean that I have quite literally not seen them once since graduation. I ran into one a year ago, it turned out he lived in the same dorm at my school, and his first reaction was "Where have you been? We all thought you moved away!" I also didn't keep any friends from high school. I've seen a couple guys a handful of times over the last four years, but no more than two or three times.

It might be my way of grappling with loss, just leaving it behind without another thought. It might just be the way I am, since I'm kind of a loner, and I've never really gone out of my way to become attached to people, it just sort of happens with a few of them. Sometimes I really do wonder if I care at all. Leaving grade school and high school had me torn up for a day or two, but I got over it so fast that I felt guilty about it. I don't know what is going to happen this time. A couple friends who moved away last year, people I was sure I would keep in touch with, I have entirely fallen out of contact with, and one of my better friends who left earlier this year I rarely speak to.

A friend one told me that we really just make friends out of necessity to have people close to us, people to interact with, and when we move to another area, for example, they are no longer necessary, since they're over there and we need friends over here. It's a somewhat sterile and heartless way to look at it, but it really is kind of true. People serve their purpose in your life, and someday their purpose is complete. You might wind up with a few people who stick around, but even a few of those is better than what most people have. I would like to think I know people here who I'll keep in touch with, but we're all going to different ends of the country and possibly the globe, and that sort of makes it harder to keep it going than with my friends from home who never even moved away after high school.

The question I sometimes come to is whether or not I have served much of a purpose in other people's lives. It's always a bit of a fear I have had, that everybody else will leave me, that I don't actually impact anybody else. I try my best to not dwell on this one.

One of the songs tonight was about not leaving with sadness or bitterness, but instead leaving with happiness. I guess that is what I try to do. I'm grateful for the times I've had with these people, and I guess I try to not let the fact that I will most likely grow apart from them bother me too much. There was a girl I thought I felt things for a few times over the last few years, and I know I certainly left that with happiness. It sucked up a lot of my time, but I grew and learned a lot about myself. There was another girl I did have feelings for, and I kind of sabotaged it, and I've tried my best to leave that with happiness, too (though most everybody in my life has always been sure to give me endless shit, insults and backhanded passive-aggressive comments on it, which is one of the things I can't say I'll miss).

Freshman year I listened a lot to this album "Signs of Life" by a Finnish band Poets of the Fall. I would listen to it all night, alone in my room, laying on the floor with my old stereo sitting next to me, and it would loop over and over as I slept. It is one of those albums that doesn't just make me nostalgic, but instantly puts me into a mood that I was in while listening to it a few years ago, and it is so strong I can hardly make it through a song without feeling uncomfortable. It is probably the biggest physical tie I have to my freshman year and the experiences I had. They had another album sophomore year I didn't listen to much, but their third just came out, and it has sort of been the soundtrack to the end of this chapter, and that is fitting to me. Things haven't come full circle, but they've gone somewhere. I don't know if it's forward or not.

Where I go from here is another story entirely. Glen had a little thing he said tonight about how we sometimes hit walls in our life. They're too long to go around, too high to get over, too deep to dig under, and we have a way of spending way too much time stressing over it and futilely trying to get past it. Someday, he said, we have to turn around, and walk away from that wall, and just keep walking until one day we've walked around the entire fucking world and find ourselves on the other side. I think it's a good way to put things. I know I'd like to wind up at Pixar someday, but I'm not going to focus on that out of the gate, I'm just going to go where the wind takes me. I don't care if I wind up starting here, or LA, or San Fransisco, or Japan, or fucking Cicero. As long as I know what I really want inside, I'll find my way there eventually. The six degrees of Pete's life.

If I am one thing, it's stubborn. I'm surprisingly confident that I will wind up there someday. It's the path from here to there that will be the interesting part. I'm told that the journey is the important part of life, not the goal. But fuck that, Pixar is sweet.

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